Washington, D.C. — According to new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the number of climate deniers in the 116th Congress fell slightly to 150 members amid a wave election this past November. All members in Congress who do not believe in the scientific consensus on climate change are Republican, accounting for 60 percent of all congressional Republicans—and 28 percent of congressional members in total. The analysis also found that these 150 climate deniers, who include 18 new members among their ranks, accepted an average of $455,731 in lifetime contributions from the fossil fuel industry.
“With this year’s historically damaging hurricanes and wildfires—and continued warnings from scientists in one dire climate report after another—there should be no question that climate change is real, and it’s happening now,” said Sally Hardin, research analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “While the number of lawmakers who refuse to acknowledge climate change may have dropped this year, there are still far too many left in Congress. These members are spreading misinformation and repeating the fossil fuel industry’s talking points. It’s time for the new Congress to take a closer look at who’s funding this continued bald-faced denial.”
The analysis finds that there are now 30 fewer deniers than there were in the 115th Congress, as a number of members out of step with public opinion on climate change have either retired, resigned, or been defeated. However, the deniers in this Congress still include seven members recently appointed to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, and even five members of the Climate Solutions Caucus—a group ostensibly formed to advance bipartisan solutions on climate change.
While the views of climate deniers are out of touch with scientific reality, they do reflect the beliefs of President Donald Trump, who last weekend took to Twitter to declare that it “wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” But if the trends reflected in this analysis continue, President Trump could find himself alone in that opinion before the end of his time in office.
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